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Stage 1 food: Sweet Potato

January 22, 2011

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a number of “recipes” for some Stage 1 fruit and vegetable purees that are both easy to make and extremely nutritious. As you will see in forthcoming posts, I’m a big fan of mixing fruits and veggies together. Any two of these basic purees can be mixed to make a delightful new combination.

Sweet potatoes (also sometimes known as yams) are a wonderful root vegetable, rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fiber. Their sweet taste and fluffy texture make them very appetizing for even new eater, so they’re a great choice for a “first food” for your little one.

Sweet Potato Puree:
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Wash sweet potatoes well; pierce jackets several times with a fork
-Wrap in tin foil
-Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending upon the size of your potatoes
-Allow to cool on counter or in fridge for at least an hour, unless you really like to burn your fingers
-When cool, remove jackets. If your baby is new to solids, I suggest pureeing the sweet potato with some water, formula or breast milk. If your baby is a more experienced eater, you may not even need to puree–mashing with a fork might be enough.

A couple of notes about sweet potatoes: The smaller the sweet potato, the sweeter it’s flesh. So try to pick out the smallest/skinniest yams in the bin. This will also cut back on your cooking time, too. And because your baby won’t be eating the skin, you don’t necessarily HAVE to buy them organic.

Chicken Balls….or, How Not To Write A Recipe….

January 19, 2011

This is the first “recipe” I ever wrote. Verbatim. I had posted on my Facebook page that I had made “Chicken Balls.” (Cue my “Beavis and Butthead” 12 year old boy laugh.) A friend asked me for the recipe…..And because I’m not someone who can resist sharing my expertise (even when I’m far from being an expert on a subject) this was my reply:

You need:
–Ground chicken. I don’t know how much. The package cost $3.11. I don’t know how much the price was per pound. I suck at math and I can’t visualize, but I’m gonna guess it was 2/3 of a pound. And that’s probably accurate within a third in either direction.

–Some leeks. Maybe half of the white part of one leek. Minced.

–Organic whole wheat seasoned breadcrumbs. The Whole Foods brand. Of course, you don’t have to use organic, but I’m weirdly paranoid that if I don’t feed Owen organic food, he’ll grow up to be a big fat loser. On the other hand, the chicken I bought wasn’t organic chicken, because I couldn’t fine organic ground chicken. And also, I was feeling rebellious. Against who, I don’t know….myself, probably. I’m in a Mompetition with myself.

–One egg yolk.

–Some Parmesan cheese, grated.

Sautee the leeks in some olive oil until transparent. While you’re doing that, combine all the other ingredients in a bowl. When the leeks are done, mush with your fingers until it’s all mixed together. Roll into individual “balls” of questionable shape and varying size. Return to the pan that you cooked the leeks in and sautee until they’re not pink in the middle and therefore, probably won’t give anyone salmonella or e-coli.

If you’re anything like me, the “meatballs” will A) fall apart and B) probably have to be put through the baby food grinder because you didn’t chop the leeks enough. But they will taste fantastic! Enjoy!!!

PS: They really were quite yummy. It was Owen’s first experience with leeks and only his second or third one with meat (he was about 7 1/2 months old or so at the time) but he did, in fact, chow down on these.

Just what the world needed….

January 19, 2011

…Another “Mom” blog. I can’t promise you this one will be different from the others, except that it may become glaringly obvious at some point that I don’t know what I’m doing at least half of the time (when it comes to cooking, blogging AND Mom-ing.) But, like a lot of people out there, I feel like I have something to say, so why not say it?
So, why home made baby food? Let me just say that I’m not here to criticize anyone who chooses to use the jarred stuff rather than make baby food from scratch. There are many reasons why a mom might not be down for the home made chow, and none of them are any of my business. I, too, will use the jarred stuff from time to time. But if “I can’t cook” and “I don’t have time” are your biggest reasons for not even trying to make your baby’s food from scratch, let me just say that it is NOT that hard and it is NOT that time consuming. I work full time, and it’s not as a chef. But from the first time I mashed and fed my (then 5 1/2 month old) son, Owen (see that’s his cute little face right up there!)  a ripe avocado, I became a addicted to how lovely and satisfying it felt to know EXACTLY what was nourishing his body…..Ok, hippie moment over. Sorry.

Suffice it to say, I am passionate about home made baby food and who knows, maybe in time, you will be too. So….here we go.